I usually have a commercial sponge pad that I used with wooden bats on the wheel when throwing large bowls and plates. Lately I have been at a loss as I could not find it in the studio. Last week I was throwing plates(patens) for communion sets and was looking again for my sponge pad. Could not find it so I decided to try something new. I put a piece of plastic from a clay bag cut to a square on the wheel with the bat pins under it, placed a bat over top, and used a knife to cut the excess off. After removing the bat, I dipped the plastic into the water bucket, smoothed it back on the wheel head and replaced the bat and threw the plate. It worked just great, and the same piece now has been used for 10 plates. Still will get much use out of it.
Do you have a recent studio trick, or an older one that others may find of use?